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Golf Channel Reimagines "Golf Central" by Modernizing it for the Digital Lifestyle

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 10, 2018, 4:20 pm

Golf Channel’s Signature News Program Dating Back to the Network’s Launch in 1995; Now the Unrivaled News Leader for Millions of Golf Fans Worldwide

Golf Channel is modernizing its daily evening news show, Golf Central, expanding it from a nightly newscast to a day-long platform enhanced with innovative digital extensions. Golf Central was the first show to air on Golf Channel when co-founder Arnold Palmer launched the network in 1995 and continues to deliver in-depth analysis, breaking news reports, interviews with golf’s biggest stars and highlights from the game’s top professional tours.

Golf Central reaches golf fans in 80 countries around the world and is distributed in nine languages across North and South America, Asia and Europe. In 2018, Golf Central posted its most-watched first quarter ever and its popular Golf Central Live From the Masters platform posted its most-watched Masters week ever. Building on that momentum, Golf Central now will serve golf fans throughout the day with updates across linear, digital and social media platforms, officially starting this week.

Golf Central has been a cornerstone of Golf Channel for 23 years,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content and executive producer, Golf Channel. “We continue to look for opportunities to evolve how we best serve the millions of golf fans worldwide that turn to Golf Central as their unrivaled source for golf news. This reimagined, daylong platform is designed for the digital lifestyle of our golf fans – who turn to us on-air, online and on-the-go when they want the latest news from the golf world.”

With the support of TaylorMade Golf, Golf Channel looked to identify innovative ways to connect with golfers throughout the day. The resulting partnership established TaylorMade, the Carlsbad-based golf company, as the presenting sponsor of Golf Channel’s new Golf Central content platform.

“The media consumption behaviors of passionate golfers continue to evolve,” said David Abeles, CEO and president, TaylorMade Golf. “Our partnership with Golf Central allows us to more deeply integrate our brand, world-class Tour athletes and innovative products into the fabric of this new programming format. It’s a comprehensive approach that allows TaylorMade Golf to be at the center of golf news, information and performance moments.”

The reimagined Golf Central will feature regular enhancements, including:

  • Golf Central Updates within Morning Drive, the network’s daily morning show.
  • News updates throughout the day – both on linear television and digital segments from Golf Channel’s state-of-the-art newsroom.
  • Facebook Live and Twitter video updates with hosts and analysts, leading into evening newscasts.
  • Utilization of the critically acclaimed “Playing Through” commercial format in Golf Central pre-game coverage. This will be similar to how NBC Sports’ enhances live tournament coverage at The Open, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, and Solheim Cup, as well as applications within NBC Sports’ coverage of the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics.
  • Innovative TaylorMade-sponsored features and content integrations.
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Tiger: Back was an issue in 2012 Ryder loss at Medinah

By Rex HoggardSeptember 19, 2018, 2:39 pm

ATLANTA – On Tuesday at East Lake, Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round with Bryson DeChambeau, adding to the notion that the two could end up partnering at next week’s Ryder Cup.

Of course, he also played with Tony Finau. And - let’s face it - there are no shortage of potential teammates for Woods in the U.S. team room.

But DeChambeau does seem to have his interest.

“I've gotten to know Bryson very well, and what an amazing talent, and an unbelievable hard worker,” Woods said. “He has figured out a way to play this game his own way, and he's very efficient at what he does, and he's not afraid to think outside the box on how he can become better.”

After missing the last two matches because of injury, finding the right partner is a good problem to have.

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Being one of Jim Furyk’s four captain’s picks is particularly rewarding for Woods, who endured one of his toughest losses in the matches in his last start in 2012, when the U.S. team took a four-point lead into Sunday singles but lost, 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

The ’12 matches were where Woods' back prompted him to request a late tee time Sunday, rendering his anchor match with Francesco Molinari ultimately irrelevant once Europe retained at least a share of the cup. Woods eventually conceded the 18th hole to Molinari, ending their match in a halve and allowing Europe to win outright. 

“I wasn't feeling physically well at that Ryder Cup, and it's where my back started bugging me,” Woods said. “That's the only wave I've ever missed was [that] Saturday afternoon wave, because I told [U.S. captain Davis Love III] I just really couldn't go. And I said, 'Can you put me out later on Sunday? Because I need the time to get my back organized here.'

“It was tough watching them celebrate in the 18th fairway when I thought we should have won that one."

Woods actually missed the morning foursomes session on Day 2 in at Medinah. It marked the first time in his Ryder Cup career he didn’t play all four team sessions. He finished with a 0-3-1 record for the week.

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Stenson fires back at Mickelson on gun range

By Will GraySeptember 19, 2018, 1:24 pm

The first shots of the Ryder Cup may be ringing off a target at a gun range near you.

After Phil Mickelson tweeted his long-range sniper shot, extolling the virtues of focus and measured breathing as he prepares to take on Le Golf National next week, one of Europe's top players picked up a weapon to return fire.

Henrik Stenson was added as a captain's pick earlier this month, and he'll make his fifth Ryder Cup appearance in France. But before heading across the Atlantic he had some fun on Twitter, grabbing a gun and tweeting a video back to Mickelson while taking aim at a target 50 yards away:

Ever the Twitter savant, Mickelson saw the message and came back with a reply of his own, noting that he couldn't hear Stenson's shot hit the target like Mickelson's did from much longer range in the original video:

This is your reminder that the first (golf) shots of the Ryder Cup will be struck in just nine days.

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Watch: Dechambeau simulates dew on East Lake range

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 18, 2018, 11:02 pm

Bryson DeChambeau has certainly lived up to his nickname of "Mad Scientist" since joining the PGA Tour, using his eccentric style to win four events, including the first two tournaments of this year's FedExCup Playoffs.

And he's staying on brand at the season-ending Tour Championship, where he enters as the favorite to capture the FedExCup title.

The 24-year-old was spotted on the East Lake range Tuesday, preparing for potential morning dew on the golf ball this week - by having a member of his team spray each golf ball between practice shots:

While this type of preparation might come off as a little excessive to the average golfer, it's rather mild for DeChambeau, considering that in the last two weeks alone he has discussed undergoing muscle activation tests and measuring his brain waves.

DeChambeau goes off with Justin Rose on Thursday at 2 p.m. He could finish as low as T-29 and still have a mathematical chance of winning the season-long FedExCup.

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Fewer goals but more consistency for Thomas in 2018

By Rex HoggardSeptember 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

ATLANTA – After winning last year’s FedExCup, Justin Thomas was asked about his goals for the season and he quickly went to his phone.

A list of 13 “goals” had been typed in, a rundown that ranged from qualifying for the Tour Championship to finishing in the top 10 in half of the circuit’s statistical categories. Nearly every goal had a “Y” next to it to denote he’d accomplished what he wanted.

Thomas was asked on Tuesday at East Lake how his goals are shaping up this season.

“I haven't looked in a while. I really haven't. I'm sure if I had to guess, I'm probably around 50 to 60, 70 percent [have been completed],” he said. “I definitely haven't achieved near as many as I did the previous year. But we still have one week left to knock a big goal off.”

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Thomas pointed out that although he didn’t add to his major total this season or win as many times as he did last year, he still feels like he’s been more consistent this year.

He has more top-25 finishes (19) than he did last year (14), missed fewer cuts (two compared to six last season) and has improved in nearly every major statistical category.

“It's been a really consistent year, and I take a lot of pride in that,” Thomas said. “That's a big goal of mine is to improve every year and get better every year, so if I can continue in this direction, I feel like I can do some pretty great things the rest of my career.”